Cutting edge photography gear retailer Photogear has recently opened its second physical store in Ponsonby - a wide, brightly-lit space designed to be a hub for photography enthusiasts.
As a small business competing with more established companies, Photogear found a loyal customer base early on using Facebook as its primary marketing platform.
Photogear general manager Jeff Shen says it was important for the company to create their own original content, allowing them to showcase the store's personality, build brand awareness, and drive customers to their website.
“What we learned is that video gets the most engagement, followed by photo, then text,” he says.
“The first three seconds of video are vital,” he adds.
Shen also talked about how using social media allowed them to differentiate themselves from larger businesses.
“We spend a bit more time than our competitors on authentic content generation, and we use our own team members as the video presenters when we play around in our store.
Customers who drop by their physical store often remark that they've seen the staff in the videos before, creating a personal connection.
This engagement on Facebook gives the staff and the customers something to bond about and helps them create a loyal customer base.
“In this industry, it takes time.
“It takes time to save money, it takes time to find the right equipment for your needs, but we value the relationship with our customers more than an instant return on investment,” Shen says.
Young and authentic brand personality
“Most recently, we've gotten into using Facebook Live, and we're one of the first retailers in the photography industry to do it,” Shen says.
He says that the idea came to them in a team meeting, as they were planning on having a garage sale.
They knew a lot of their clients who weren't based in Auckland wouldn't get to see it, so they used a gimbal and went live on Facebook, doing a walkthrough of the event.
“We had fun doing it, that was the main thing,” he says.
For their Christmas livestream, Shen dressed up as Santa Claus, which customers loved and engaged with on Facebook.
“We're a young company, and most of our team are pretty young in spirit.
Looking ahead, Shen says they are looking at hiring more content creators to produce original content for their Facebook page.
They're currently doing two posts a day and focusing on increasing the number of likes on their page.